Elon Musk Loses His Crown as World’s Richest Person to Bernard Arnault

Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX, has been dethroned as the world’s richest person by Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate.

According to Forbes’ annual ‘World’s Billionaire’s List 2023’ released on Tuesday, Mr. Musk’s net worth slipped by about $39 billion in the past year to $180 billion, whereas Mr. Arnault’s net worth increased by $50 billion to $211 billion.

Mr. Musk and Mr. Arnault often switch places on the Forbes’ ‘Real-Time Billionaires’ list, which tracks the daily ups and downs of the world’s richest people based on stock prices and currency exchange rates. But this is the first time that Mr. Arnault has topped the annual ranking, which is a snapshot of wealth as of March 10, 2023.

Mr. Arnault, 74, has been at the helm of LVMH since 1989, overseeing its expansion into a global empire of more than 70 brands, including Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co. He is also a major art collector and patron, with a personal collection estimated at more than $1 billion.

Mr. Musk, 51, rose to fame as a co-founder of PayPal and later became a pioneer in electric vehicles and space exploration. He made headlines last year when he announced that he had moved from California to Texas and sold most of his possessions, including his mansions. He also stirred controversy with his outspoken views on social media and his involvement in cryptocurrency.

The Forbes list reflects a rare down year for the planet’s richest people, as both public and private markets shuddered amid the coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical tensions. The total number of billionaires fell to 2,640, down from 2,668 last year. The combined net worth of all billionaires also declined to $12.2 trillion, down from $12.7 trillion in March 2022.

Other notable names on the list include Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, who ranked third with a net worth of $121.2 billion; Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle and owner of Lanai island in Hawaii, who ranked fourth with a net worth of $112.2 billion; and Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, who ranked sixth with a net worth of $104 billion.

The list also features 150 newcomers, including basketball star LeBron James, fashion designer Tom Ford and golf legend Tiger Woods. The youngest billionaire on the list is Mark Mateschitz, 30, the heir to Red Bull energy drink fortune.

The list is based on information compiled from public sources or provided by the billionaires themselves or their representatives. Forbes applies a uniform methodology to valuate each individual’s assets and liabilities. The magazine also publishes a separate list of China’s richest people in partnership with Hurun Report.

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